This year’s annual Rockland Public Library Poetry Contest is getting playful with books by putting out a call for book spine poetry — using titles on book spines to create a poem by stacking the book.

Participants can use books from their homes or school libraries, local bookshops (with permission, of course), a place of business or the local library. Contest organizers are encouraging groups, was well as individuals, to participate. Poems can be submitted by school classrooms, after-school groups, businesses or organizations.

Age categories are: Children, 13 and Under; and Children and Adults, 14 and Up. Entries can fit into sub-categories; prizes will be awarded for Most Humorous, Best Love Poem, Most Creative Use of Books (because one doesn’t have to stack straight up-and-down), Best Nature Poem and Super Challenging-Best Haiku.

There also will be a Best in Age Category and Best Overall Poem. Winners in each category will win a poster of their poem, and all entries will be shown as a video presentation at the Open Mic Night, set for Thursday, April 25, at 6:30 p.m.

To submit, send a photo of the book spine poem in a .jpeg or .png format to Use the subject heading “ROCKLAND LIBRARY BOOK SPINE POETRY CONTEST” and include the age and sub-category for the submission. All participants should be credited in the body of the email, and contact information must be included. Photos must be clear enough to read the book spines; however, the text of the poem is required in the email body, as well. Emails must be time stamped by 5 p.m. Monday, April 15.

Those who prefer to mail or drop off entries must print the photo on any paper and include participants’ names and contact info on the back. Mail to Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St., Rockland, ME 04841 and write “ROCKLAND LIBRARY BOOK SPINE POETRY CONTEST” with age and theme category on the outside of the envelope.

For the full set of rules, visit

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or